Let's face it; there's nothing C.A. Clark from SB Nation's Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll could do to convince you to join the Evil Empire of the NBA. So if you want to root for the Lakers this spring, have no shame. You won't be the only bandwagon fan.
How fitting it is that the last attempt in this delightful exercise in persuasion is an attempt to convince you to throw your support behind the Los Angeles Lakers. By now, you've no doubt read 15 wonderful arguments from my colleagues, and they all have some kind of angle: The aging core with one last chance, the cursed city desperate for a championship, the team that plays beautiful basketball, the one that creates anarchy on the court, win one for the gipper, it's all there. The storybook of your choice awaits.
Me, I have no angles. We're talking about the Los Angeles Lakers here. We are the New York Yankees, we are the Dallas Cowboys, we are Manchester United. We are the villains of the NBA. Conspiracies work in our favor. Some combination of referees, David Stern, and "rival" GMs will ensure that we have an unfair advantage over the rest of the league at all times. Our players are the exact opposite of likable. Led by Kobe Bryant, the most polarizing athlete in the sport (and, until some golfer stole the title recently, all sports), the Lakers players are a combination of arrogance, smugness, indifference and laziness that you can't help but despise.
Our fans aren't tortured, they're insufferable. We arrive late, leave early and can't be bothered to cheer until the final moments of the game, because we're too busy scanning the court-side seats for celebrities. Most of us don't know much about basketball, or the team, because we're all a bunch of bandwagon riders anyways. The only thing any Lakers fan knows for sure is that Kobe Bryant is the greatest basketball player to have ever lived, or at least a close second to Magic Johnson. Win or lose, we do so with indignity, and the worst part is that when the Lakers come to town, we probably outnumber you on your own court.
Like I said, there are no angles. There isn't a single reason for you to feel good about rooting for the Lakers. There's only the truth.
The truth? If you want the best chance for this charade of yours to last deep into June, we're your best bet. Oh sure, we might look ripe for the picking, but take a good hard look at the Western Conference. Eight very strong teams, no doubt, but is there one team in there that really strikes you as dominant? Nope. It'll be a dogfight, it'll be a struggle, but deep in your heart, you already know the Lakers will probably end up at the top of the heap. Besides, if things start to look bad, one call from the commissioner's office should clear things up nicely.
In the end, the numbers don't lie. In 60 seasons of NBA basketball, the Lakers have missed the playoffs five times. They've been to the Finals in 29 out of 60 seasons, and won the championship 14 times (15 if you count the season before, played under the BAA). The Lakers might not win it all, but they are the safest bet in the field to make the Finals. After all, Orlando and Cleveland have to play each other.
The best part about throwing your lot in with the Lakers fans? You'll fit right in. Don't know any player on the team besides Kobe or Pau? Who cares, did you see Denzel Washington in the 2nd row? Don't understand the Triangle? Neither do we, and for that matter I think the Lakers players are pretty confused by it too. And God forbid if the Lakers were to lose, you'll be able to slink out the side door with the rest of us as the bandwagon empties en masse, and you'll be secretly smiling all the way to your team's off-season. It's a win-win for you either way.
I know that bandwagon fans have a negative association attached to them, but the truth is that every one of these pieces is trying to convince you that theirs' is the best bandwagon of all.
And, well, there's a reason our bandwagon is so big.